The UK Events Skills Talent & Diversity Working Group has launched the Events Apprenticeship Framework to bring together event related apprenticeships. An Events Apprenticeships Advisory Board (EAAB) has been formed and includes employers and wider industry representation. At a time of workforce challenges, the EAAB aims to create a recognised and coordinated event apprenticeships offer across the UK events industry
The breadth and depth of the industry runs deep across the UK economy, from festivals, concerts, exhibitions, meetings, weddings, public, private events, the list goes on. The value of events to the economy in GVA and employment numbers is currently unknown post-pandemic. In 2019 the value was estimated at £70bn GVA and 700,000 employed (BVEP, 2020, UK Events Report). This figure could now be anywhere between £14-56bn and 140-560,000 employed (BVEP, 2022; DCMS, 2022; UKCAMS, 2022). This demonstrates that recruitment post-pandemic is our biggest challenge, and the need to onboard new people and those returning to events, if they are going to return to 2019 figures.
One route into the events workforce has traditionally been through UK Higher Education providers of event-related undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. This route has seen a decline in applications and acceptances over the last 5 years (HESA, 2022). There are now approximately 2,000 graduates entering the workforce from event degrees each year.
Apprenticeships are another route into the industry, with over 500 Event Assistant apprentices between 2017-2021 (IFATE, 2022). Given the number of people employed in the industry, this is a small percentage and a potential opportunity for growth. This is mainly due to a lack of awareness, understanding and investment as to the opportunities available outside of the university route.
Picking up the reins of the existing Event Assistant Apprenticeship and working alongside associated apprenticeships, such as the Live Event Technician, Creative Venue Technician and Live Event Rigger, the group will work with event businesses to build a sustainable model for success. Apprenticeships offer an accessible and alternative route into industry, supporting people from underprivileged backgrounds and minority communities with paid work, training, and education.